Changes have been made to the Liquor Act 1992 to prohibit people from entering or remaining on premises, subject to a licence or permit under the Liquor Act, if they are wearing or carrying certain prohibited items (outlined below) which are associated with a declared criminal organisation. It also places obligations on licensees/permittees, approved managers, employees and agents of licensees/permittees that they not knowingly allow anyone wearing or carrying the prohibited items to enter or remain on the premises.

The Liquor Act provides for authorised persons, which include the licensee/permittee, employees or agents of the licensee/permittee, and police officers, to tell a person wearing or carrying prohibited items to immediately leave the premises.

Penalties apply and the maximum penalty for the licensee/permittee, approved manager or employee/agent of the licensee/permittee for knowingly allowing a person wearing or carrying prohibited items to enter or remain on the premises is $11,000.

Significant penalties also apply if the person refuses to leave when required, or resists an authorised person who is removing them from the premises (maximum penalty for first offence $41,250, second offence $57,750 or 6 months imprisonment and third or later offences $82,500 or 18 months imprisonment).

Prohibited item is defined in the Liquor Act as meaning:
an item of clothing or jewellery or an accessory that displays—

  1. (a)  the name of a declared criminal organisation; or
  2. (b)  the club patch, insignia or logo of a declared criminal organisation; or

Note— The things mentioned in paragraph (b) are also known as the ‘colours’ of the organisation.
(c) any image, symbol, abbreviation, acronym or other form of writing that indicates membership of, or an association with, a declared criminal organisation, including—

(i)       the symbol 1%;
(ii)      and the symbol 1%er;
(iii)    any other image, symbol, abbreviation, acronym or other form of writing prescribed under a regulation for this paragraph.



There have been an increasing number of inquiries about the legality of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) ‘smoking’ on licensed premises. E-cigarettes have become popular over recent years as a substitute for tobacco, and have been marketed as a ‘harm reduction’ device and quit smoking aid.

An e-cigarette contains three essential components: a plastic cartridge that serves as a mouthpiece and a reservoir for liquid, an ‘atomiser’ that vaporises the liquid, and a battery. The consumer inhales the vapour (called ‘vaping’) in the same manner as they would if they smoked a normal cigarette. The product commonly looks like a fountain pen but variants are found in different shapes and sizes, even replicating an actual cigarette. An e-cigarette is generally regarded as safer than smoking tobacco but it seems the science isn’t settled as yet. There is no distinctive odour with this product.

E-cigarettes are not regarded as tobacco or an other smoking related product in Queensland under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998.  However, they can only be used on licensed premises in the Designated Outdoor Smoking Area or patrons must leave the premises to ‘smoke’ an e-cigarette.


See below our collection of articles on liquor and gaming licensing and small business consulting. Our articles aim to explain the Liquor Act 1992 and Gaming Machine Act 1993.

Gaming Machine Site Licenses – Operating Authorities

Fast facts

1. Importantly, section 109 of Gaming Machine Act 1991 states that “An encumbrance to the extent it is an operating authority is of
no effect”. As such, if a tenant is a licensee and their lease/agreement is terminated the freehold owner or mortgagee has no rights
to the operating authorities under the Gaming Machine Act 1991.

2. In certain circumstances, an interested person who applies under the Liquor Act 1992 for authorization to conduct the business of a
licensee on an interim basis may apply for a concurrent authorization to be a substitute licensee under the Gaming Act 1992. A
substitute licensee may only continue trading at the premises, but they cannot sell or tender for more gaming authorities

3. A gaming licence cannot be transferred. A new licence must be issued. Where there is an existing gaming licence, a new licence is
issued subject to the surrender of the old licence. In this instance, the old operating authorities are automatically transferred to the
new licence. Only then may the licensee sell or tender for more gaming authorities.

4. If a gaming machine licence is cancelled by the Commissioner for any reason, the authorities become operating authorities of the
state and no compensation are payable to a licensee or any other person.

Gaming Machine Act 1991

Section 109 (4) Special authorization to conduct gaming

(3) If a person (the substitute licensee) is authorised under the Liquor Act 1992, part 5,
division 2 to conduct the business of a licensee under that Act on the premises, the
commissioner may grant a concurrent authorization to the substitute licensee under
this section.

(4) While an authorisation under this section remains in force, the substitute

(a) is authorised to conduct gaming on the licensed premises as if the
substitute licensee was the licensee
under the gaming machine licence; and

(b) is subject to all the liabilities of the licensee under the
gaming machine licence.

109H Operating authority not to be encumbered

An encumbrance to the extent it is an operating authority is of no effect.

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Liquor Licenses – Interim authoritiesThe Liquor Act 1992

131A Decision by commissioner on application to continue trading
in certain circumstances

If an applicant is the occupier or is entitled to possession of the
licensed premises, the commissioner may authorise the applicant
to conduct business on licensed premises under authority of the
licence on an interim basis. – The Liquor Act 1992

Typical scenarios when an interim authority
application is required:

 An owner or mortgagee evicts a tenant, and the owner or
mortgagee requires the continued trading of the licensed
business until such time as a replacement tenant can be

 A licensed business is being transferred to a new tenant, but a
fast settlement occurs prior to a transfer of liquor licence
application being completed by the Office of Liquor and
Gaming Regulation. A person or entity must not trade under a
liquor licence without first seeking interim authority from the
Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, even if settlement
has occurred.

Who is entitled to apply for an interim
 An occupier of the licensed premises that is
entitled to possession of the licensed premises,
such an owner, mortgagee or lessee.Fast facts An interim authority is typically issued for 1 – 3
months but may be extended on reasonable
grounds. An interim authority is not allowed to
continue indefinitely and a full transfer of liquor
license must be completed in full (including
obtaining outgoing licensee or lessors consent to
the transfer of liquor license). An interim authority application typically takes 1 –
3 days processing with the OLGR, if all
requirements for an interim authority are satisfied The cost of an interim authority application is the
same as a transfer of liquor licence application An interim authority application can only be
decided after the applicant is in legally in
possession of the licensed premises When an interim authority is granted, the
applicant is subject to the Liquor Act 1992 as if
they were the licenses
Liquor Licenses – Registration of Financial Interests
Fast facts
 Cost: $86.00
 It is a mandatory requirement to register a an owner,
lessee, lessor and/or mortgagee of a licensed premises
as per section 44A(2) of the Liquor Act 1992. Likewise,
a registered interest must notify the Office of Liquor and
Gaming Regulation if the entity ceases to hold interest in
the licensed premises.
 If the entity being registered is not the licensee, they are
not liable under the Liquor Act 1992 for compliance
related matter regarding the operation of the licensed
 The purpose of registering a financial interest of the
freehold owner / mortgagee or head lessor is to protect
the interests of the entity. A liquor licence is an asset
attaching to the land, and therefore a tenant cannot take
the liquor licence away from the land. Likewise, whilst a
tenant can apply for a liquor licence a tenant cannot
surrender a liquor licence without consent from the
freehold owner or head lessor.
Liquor Act 1992
44A Owner, lessee, mortgagee and secured creditors to give
particulars to commissioner
(1) This section applies to—
(a) an owner, lessee and mortgagee of licensed
premises; and
(b) a secured creditor of the licensee whose interest
is likely to be affected by cancellation of the licence
for the premises.
(2) The persons mentioned in subsection (1) must give the
commissioner particulars sufficient to identify their interest in
the licence within 28 days of—
(a) acquiring the interest; or
(b) if the person holds the interest at the time the
licence is granted—the granting of the licence.
(3) A person who has given particulars under subsection (2) of
the person’s interest in a licence must give the commissioner
notice that the person no longer holds the interest within 28
days of ceasing to hold the interest.
Maximum penalty for subsection (3)—1 penalty unit.
The penalty unit value in Queensland is $121.90 (current from
1 July 2016).